Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Microsoft, Procter & Gamble Can't Make a Dent in the Dow's 200-Point Plunge

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The onslaught continues on the market's downbeat week, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) has followed up on yesterday's losses with an encore performance. As of 2:30 p.m. EST, the Dow's shed more than 250 points, and all but a select few blue-chip stocks are deep in the red. Earnings season has produced a mixed batch of results so far, but despite the Dow's collapse today, two leading index stocks, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , are soaring after releasing their latest quarterly numbers. Let's catch up on what you need to know.

Fear runs wild
The market's "fear indicator," the CBOE Volatility Index (VOLATILITYINDICES: ^VIX  ) , continued its spike by jumping more than 18% today. Some analysts have proposed that this week, in which many indices are looking at tough losses, could be the beginning of a correction from last year's explosive market gains. Emerging markets have taken a tough blow since weak China data came out yesterday, and the shock waves have rebounded around the broader market.

That sure hasn't hurt Microsoft, however. The Windows maker's stock has jumped 2.2% to lead the tiny cadre of Dow gainers today after announcing that its fiscal second-quarter revenue jumped 14%. That was a new record at $24.5 billion and topped analyst expectations. Net income also gained slightly and likewise topped analyst expectations.

Surprisingly, some of Microsoft's more sluggish products managed to perform well in the last quarter. The Surface tablet, which has had only a minor presence in the mobile market for most of its young life, posted a particularly strong quarter of sales -- although Microsoft doesn't make a profit on the devices. Overall, Microsoft's devices and consumer hardware group, which includes the likes of the Surface and the Xbox console, posted a revenue gain of 68% for the quarter. While the launch of the new Xbox One console no doubt helped that figure, it's a strong performance nonetheless for one of Microsoft's less-heralded units and a strong counterpunch to the falling sales of Windows. Microsoft reported that Windows 7 and 8 consumer sales dropped 20% for the quarter.

Procter & Gamble's stock has racked up a gain of 2.3%. The consumer goods conglomerate didn't actually post particularly impressive quarterly results -- revenue climbed less than 1%, while net income plunged by 16% -- but the company still managed to top analyst profit expectations despite facing tough competition in its niche.

In particular, it's Procter & Gamble's optimistic look ahead that has investors feeling confident. The company said it expects strong top-line growth through the second half of this year, seeing organic revenue growth between 3% and 4% for the full fiscal year. Emerging markets have drummed up momentum for Procter & Gamble as of late, with developing economy sales jumping 8% in the most recent quarter. If P&G can keep that up, investors will welcome the company's results in quarters to come.

Which stock needs to be on your radar in 2014?
Procter & Gamble's performed only modestly over the past year, but is this stock one to watch in 2014? There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2808708, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/28/2015 5:51:39 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Dan Carroll

Dan began writing for the Motley Fool in 2012. He is a health care specialist who also follows the defense industry along with tracking the broader U.S. and international markets.

Today's Market

updated 8 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,654.77 369.26 2.27%
S&P 500 1,987.66 47.15 2.43%
NASD 4,812.71 115.17 2.45%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/27/2015 4:35 PM
^DJI $16654.77 Up +369.26 +2.27%
^VIX $26.10 Down -4.22 -13.92%
Volatility S&P 500 CAPS Rating: No stars
MSFT $43.90 Up +1.19 +2.79%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ***
PG $71.48 Up +0.58 +0.82%
Procter & Gamble CAPS Rating: ****